TURIN // Dwain Chambers was yesterday preparing to finally let his spikes do the talking in the European Indoor Championships. Chambers is hot favourite for the 60m at the Oval Lingotto, but the build up to the event has been overshadowed by the serialisation of his autobiography in a British newspaper earlier in the week.
The disgraced sprinter insists the book was his attempt to achieve "closure" following his return to athletics after serving a two-year ban for testing positive for the steroid Tetrahydrogestrinone or THG - often referred to as 'The Clear' - in 2003. But the issue is bound to rumble on as long as Chambers, 30, continues competing, and especially if, as expected, he wins gold here today. He said: "The book was meant to come out beforehand and I thought out of respect for the athletes I would backdate it to after the championships.
"There was no better time to bring it out than after my success in the European Championships, and while the situation is still ripe in terms of the amount of attention it created. "As far as I'm concerned once this European Indoors is past and the book comes out Monday morning, that's it." The 60m could provide Britain with at least two of the five or six medals targeted by the UK Athletics head coach Charles van Commenee - with Chambers, Simeon Williamson and Craig Pickering ranked first, third and fifth in Europe respectively.
Chambers is joint fastest in the world this year with a time of 6.51secs, but Williamson ran 6.53 in Birmingham a fortnight ago and Pickering remains a threat if he can get off to a good start. In Friday, Andy Turner came agonisingly close to winning Britain's first medal of the championships in the 60m hurdles, finishing fourth for the second championships in succession. Turner - who admitted he is "running angry" after losing his Lottery funding - was just 0.01secs away from bronze with France's Ladji Doucoure winning ahead of the defending champion Gregory Sedoc of Holland and Petr Svoboda of the Czech Republic.
Turner said: "It's just a horrible place to finish, I can't even describe how I feel right now. I'm gutted. "I ran poorly in the heat and semi and ran my best race in the final but to be honest that's no consolation because I still finished fourth and I'm still going home empty-handed." Sarah Claxton had earlier raised hopes of a medal after equalling her own British record in the semi-finals of the 60m hurdles to qualify fastest for the final, only to then trail in dead last.
Claxton, 29, finished well adrift of the winner, Eline Berings, of Belgium, who clocked 7.92secs ahead of Lucie Skrobakova of the Czech Republic with Ireland's Derval O'Rourke claiming bronze. * PA Sport